I believe all the faces of oppression Young discusses exist here in America. The one I will choose to focus on is “Cultural Imperialism”. Young’s explanation for cultural imperialism is “taking the culture of the ruling class and establishing it as the norm.” In our society, white people are the ruling class and establish the social norms in America. For example, other cultures eat with their hands. Many Americans whether black or white try to shame it and say it’s “nasty” due to white people making it a social norm to eat with utensils. It is not nasty or wrong to eat with one hand, it was a study done showing the benefits of eating with your hands. Although I am a black American I see the wrongs in the way white Americans have brainwashed many black people since the time of enslavement of us to think a certain way. A big cultural imperialism that affects the black race is colorism. As black people were forced to exist within white society, we were taught by the white people that the closer you are to looking like them the prettier. Now, hundreds of years later because we have to live amongst them even after slavery where they still implied those beliefs through TV, magazines, beauty standards, etc. We are now in a space where as black people, many of us are stuck on those norms. So we think that light skin is prettier than dark skin because as a light skin black person, you are closer to being white in comparison to a darker-toned black person. It has had so many negative effects on our community to the point that some darker-toned people grow up hating themselves. Our beautiful black children are suffering from these ideals, imagine being a gorgeous black girl growing up thinking you are ugly because of your lovely melanated skin not being accepted, all because of white people saying it wasn’t and your race now enforcing those beliefs as well. It is a huge issue that must be addressed, we are doing a great job at fighting against racism, but the fight against colorism is often suppressed within our community. A change has to come, we must fight against all cultural imperialism because the way white people think should not be a social norm, especially because many of these beliefs come from their founding fathers that only benefited white males. We must establish social norms that benefit us as a black race, no matter if we are AA, African, Haitian, etc. We must create unity.
Our faces of oppression
Bookmark the permalink.